This post is by Jeff Foster from ProVideo Coalition

With the latest developments in AI video software tools producing such real and believable results with cloning capabilities, we are now in a new age of disinformation and identify theft/IP rustling. What are some of the major players doing to attempt to protect the public from this threat – especially in such a volatile political/election year?

Well, there is one company that is taking it seriously…

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HeyGen Cloned Video Avatars

Still the leader in AI Video avatar production, HeyGen made a sudden bold move to protect people’s identity that actually put a screeching halt to some producers and projects earlier this month. Average users that use the service to record their sampling videos directly through their laptops or devices felt no change, but video producers who have the Pro accounts ran into a bigger issue.

HeyGen’s published Privacy policy:

https://www.heygen.com/policy

The workflow I have outlined in my tutorials and AI video workshops no longer worked. We could record a professional green screen video in the studio and have the talent record their authorization statement at the same time. Then we could upload the video sample and the recorded authorization statement to create the avatar.

But that option was suddenly removed without warning and we were stuck with recorded footage and no way to upload it to generate avatars for the project we’re working on.

So I reached out to the sales team to find out why and was told that I needed to obtain an Enterprise plan which starts out with a $10,000 buy in to get started.

I was able to get ahold of HeyGen’s senior management for comment and was contacted by their co-founder and CPO, Wayne Liang who shared the reason for the unannounced move on a Zoom call. I left the conversation feeling that they really made the right move, as they were actively averting groups of people trying to trick the system to avert proper authority in creating malicious and harmful avatar videos. Exactly what we are trying to avoid as working professionals.

At last word, they are revamping some of their user plans to be more aligned with their customers needs. At the time of this article is published, their plans are as follows:

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Current Upload & Approval Process

What we have currently are two options for uploading/approving when shooting talent for a professional video for the avatar without having an Enterprise account.

1: You must be able to upload your video directly at the studio while the talent records their consent on a laptop logged in to your account.

2: You get your video footage with the talent and then color correct and clean up the plate before submitting – then you send your submission clip to the talent and let them log into your account and submit the video on a Zoom call.

I have successfully done both methods working remotely with the studios and with talent that was able to approve the video a couple weeks after the shoot.

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In this example I followed above and contacted the corporate talent via a Teams call. I was able to share the video clip through our Frame.io account so he could download it to his desktop and then upload again in HeyGen.

Obviously you have to give your talent access to your HeyGen account so you might place a temporary password on it until they’ve finished uploading.

There are a series of prompts you can walk them through on a Zoom call and then they have to read a script for authorization on camera which also has a random security code so it can’t be bypassed.

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After going through this process I can see that this is indeed a proper safeguard to keep your image safe.

I’ve provided an edited video of my Teams call with the talent for this particular shoot so you can see how simple the process really is.

HeyGen’s Safety & Ethics page: https://www.heygen.com/ethics